Written Answers. - Services for People with Disabilities.

Breeda Moynihan-Cronin

Ceist:

251 Ms B. Moynihan-Cronin asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism the total amount of funding allocated by his Department for the provision of payments, facilities or services for those with physical or intellectual disabilities in 2003, giving the heading or sub-heading in the estimates under which the allocation has been made; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19522/03]

An allocation of some €10 million towards the hosting of the Special Olympics World Summer Games has been provided in subhead G of my Department's Vote for 2003. This brings to €13.9 million the Government's total direct contribution towards the hosting of the games. This does not include capital grants totalling almost €20.5 million provided to assist in the upgrading of a number of sports facilities which hosted various events during the course of the games.

While no other direct provision is made in my Department's Vote for specific services or facilities, the following programmes-allocations also benefit members of the community with physical or intellectual disabilities. The national lottery-funded sports capital programme, C1 subhead, which is run on an annual basis, allocates funding to voluntary and community organisations at local, regional and national level throughout the country. These organisations may include members with a physical or intellectual disability and, of course, it is open to organisations dealing specifically with people with physical or intellectual disabilities to apply for funding under the programme for facilities or equipment related to sport or recreational sport. Of the 1,330 applications which were received under the 2003 programme, seven applications have been classified as specifically representing those with physical or intellectual disability. All applications are currently being evaluated against the programmes assessment criteria.
The recently completed National Aquatic Centre provides access for disabled persons. The Irish Sports Council, which will receive an allocation in excess of €28 million from the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism this year, Subhead C4, funds a number of national governing bodies of sport who cater for those with physical or intellectual disabilities – they are Special Olympics Ireland, Deaf Sports Association, Cerebral Palsy and the Irish Wheelchair Association.
Fáilte Ireland has now developed a scheme for the validation and provision of information on registered and approved accommodation that provides for the needs of people with disabilities. Under my Department's arts and culture capital enhancement support scheme, ACCESS, all projects selected must be accessible to people with disabilities both in terms of general access and in terms of their participation in the practice of arts and culture activity. A total of over €45 million has been provided for some 44 projects under the ACCESS scheme which runs from 2001 to 2004, €12.26 million of which has been allocated to arts and culture capital projects in 2003 under subhead D5.